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Irrigation Externalities and Agricultural Sustainability in South‐eastern Nigeria

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  • Kevin C. Urama
  • Ian Hodge

Abstract

Agricultural intensification by irrigation is increasingly regarded as the key to solving food supply problems in Sub‐Saharan Africa. Conversely, mounting empirical evidence suggests that irrigation externalities might preclude long‐term sustainability of arable agriculture. Choosing between intensive irrigation schemes and less intensive farming systems is therefore, problematic. The paper examines the implications of irrigation intensification in south‐eastern Nigeria using adjacent rain‐fed farms as the counterfactual. The analyses found mixed results. When first introduced, the irrigation scheme increased marginal factor productivity and gross margins but this has subsequently declined to the extent that the marginal factor product of land has become negative. The annual yields of the irrigated farms were also less stable than those of the less intensive rain‐fed farms. These results indicate the dilemma that irrigation externalities present to sustainable agricultural policy and suggest a need to look again at the potential for developments in rain‐fed systems.

Suggested Citation

  • Kevin C. Urama & Ian Hodge, 2004. "Irrigation Externalities and Agricultural Sustainability in South‐eastern Nigeria," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(3), pages 479-501, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jageco:v:55:y:2004:i:3:p:479-501
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1477-9552.2004.tb00111.x
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    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1477-9552.2004.tb00111.x
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Macours, Karen & Swinnen, Johan F. M., 2000. "Causes of Output Decline in Economic Transition: The Case of Central and Eastern European Agriculture," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 172-206, March.
    2. Nick Hanley & Clive L. Spash, 1993. "Cost–Benefit Analysis and the Environment," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 205, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kevin C. Urama & Ian Hodge, 2006. "Participatory Environmental Education and Willingness to Pay for River Basin Management: Empirical Evidence from Nigeria," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 82(4), pages 542-561.
    2. repec:ags:iwmibc:157925 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:bla:afrdev:v:29:y:2017:i:s2:p:109-120 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Namara, Regassa E. & Hanjra, Munir A. & Castillo, Gina E. & Ravnborg, Helle Munk & Smith, Lawrence & Van Koppen, Barbara, 2010. "Agricultural water management and poverty linkages," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 97(4), pages 520-527, April.
    5. Urama, Kevin C. & Hodge, Ian D., 2006. "Are stated preferences convergent with revealed preferences? Empirical evidence from Nigeria," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 24-37, August.
    6. Bouasone Sengsourivong & Masaru Ichihashi, 2019. "Effectiveness of Irrigation Access on Sticky Rice Productivity: Evidence from Lao PDR," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(20), pages 1-18, October.

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